The Solstice Report 2022
The Snake is receding but not quite where we need it to be, so the tailwater reach below Jackson Lake Dam remains the most viable option for fishing at the moment. Surface action is occurring in select spots – seams and side channels primarily – and are worth targeting if rises are consistent. PMDs are prominent in the afternoon from approximately 12:30pm until 5pm and midges are popping throughout the day. Beetles are also around in bits and pieces during the afternoon hours.
Nymph rigs remain productive and are working best throughout the day in deep riffles, seams, and eddies. Concentrate on the upper part of the reach from the Dam down to the Oxbow.
Streamers are working more consistently than anything and are the only game in town from Cattlemen’s down to Pacific Creek. Floating lines are producing best followed by hover lines and INT sinking tips. Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations and target banks, structure, sloughs, and seams. Giving your streamers time to sink in deeper water before retrieving is producing and worth considering when other tactics fail.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Mega Beetles, Hair Beetles, Parachute Adams, AuSable Wulffs, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Purple Hazes, Film Critics, Parachute Midges, and CDC Midge Emergers.
Nymphs – Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Brillion’s Lucent Jigs, Hustler CDC Lights, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Egan’s Iron Lotus, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, McKnight’s Home Invader, Bennett’s Lunch Money, Craven’s Swim Coach, Rustics, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Sparkle Yummies, Booty Call Minnows, Lil’ Kims, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 9,200cfs. Fishing has been good, but changes in flows can make things challenging with resulting high water and increased turbidity. Level flows after two or three days can result in solid result. Fishing during the change will take a lot of patience and focus. Luckily the former is happening more than the latter.
PMDs are out in good numbers throughout the system and drakes are appearing from Wolverine down to Lorenzo from about 1pm until 6pm. Nonetheless, surface action has been scant and the best opportunities are coming on larger stonefly/attractor patterns, particularly downstream of Heise Bridge. Surface production is coming, but as for now, subsurface is the place to be for consistency depending on flows and visibility.
Nymph rigs of various kinds are working throughout the day and are a good way to go in the morning hours before 11am (although it can be even better from noon until 4pm). Double/triple rigs with seven to ten feet of leader from line/suspension device has been standard and there is no reason to go any shallower or deeper in most waters. Target riffles, the inside turn of seams, eddies, and confluences primarily. Dry-dropper rigs (be it tandem or single nymphs) can be used with effect in all depths, including those in the 7 foot-plus range. Target riffle shelves and pools, seams, banks, bankside troughs, confluences, and eddy current margins.
Like nymph rigs, streamers are working throughout the day with slight lulls in action (15 to 20 minutes or so) after 11am. Expect some slow days here and there when flows increase. Banks, structure, seams, bankside troughs, eddies (especially where recirculating currents are running alongside banks) and the inside turns of currents are the hot water types to hit. Focus on slower currents. Moderately size streamers are working best. Fish these on floating or intermediate sinking lines or sinking tups in the INT to 3ips range. Go with moderate retrieves with even line strips primarily. If there is inconsistent action, slow your retrieves down but keep your line strips at and even cadence. There are just as many times when a slower retrieve will outperform moderate as not.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Circus Peanuts, Barrett’s Red Ant, Bean’s Orange Crush, South Fork Stones.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Brush Hogs, Copper Johns in red or olive, Olive Hares Ear Nymphs, Flashback Rubber Legged Hares Ear Nymphs, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Lynch Mobs, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, McKnight’s Home Invader, Rustic Trombones, Goldilocks, Geisha Girls, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Flows have been up and down with the recent weather changes but visibility has been in the two to three foot range on the worst days. Its best to target low gradient portions of the river, particularly upstream of Warren Bridge and downstream of Swains Bridge.
Leftover caddis are around on sunny days and BWOs come out in good numbers on cloudy days with precipitation. Salmon flies have worked through most of the river but still around upstream of the forest boundary. Regardless, there is still a respectable amount of eats on larger attractor patterns. Surface action has typically been centered in a tight window from approximately noon until 2pm (expect it a little earlier on darker, wetter days). Focus on banks, seams, and submerged structure.
Nymph rigs are not producing well in the early morning hours but start to get into fish around 10am and continue to work until mid-afternoon. Use dry-droppers or tandem nymph dry droppers primarily with three to five feet of lead from surface pattern to trailing nymph. Target the same water as you are with dry flies.
Streamers are getting into fish throughout the day but, as with dries and nymphs, the best action is coming between 11am and 3pm. Use Floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range (depending on depth of water your are fishing) and go with slow to moderate retrieves. Through hesitations in your retrieves after several line strips in the afternoon hours (from 1:30pm until the end of the day). Both large and moderately sized streamers are working equally well, although larger patterns are definitely getting into more 18-plus inch fish. Target banks, submerged structure primarily.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Snake River Water Walkers, Circus Peanuts, Barrett’s Red Ant, Elk Hair Caddis, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs, Parachute Adams, Booty’s DL BWO Cripple, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, San Juan Worms, Squirmy Wormies, Duracells, Rabid Squirrels, Mopsicles, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Soft Hackles, Psycho Princes, Military Mayflies, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymphs, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeyman, Silvey Sculpins, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Rustic Trombones, Galloup’s Mini Dungeons, Craven’s Swim Coach, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Booty Call Minnows, Craft Fur Clousers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Sparkle Yummies, Kreelux, and J.J. Speicals.
Dry fly action has been good on both the upper river and the lower. While caddis are waning, green drakes and PMDs are around in good numbers (the latter particularly on the upper reaches from Box Canyon down to Riverside). Both start to appear around 11am typically and kick into gear from 1pm until dusk. Riffles, seams, and submerged structure are the best waters to target.
Nymphs are working best of all and really doing the trick from Warm River down to Chester. Going dry-dropper (with tandem nymphs at times) is working well along banks and submerged structure as well as the head of seams. Double/triple nymphs are working even better in riffles, eddies, and through the length of seams.
The streamer bite has weakened a bit but is still worth considering below Ashton especially. Target banks, structure, and the current margins of eddies, seams, and riffles. Floating lines are working best followed by intermediate sinking lines and sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range. Moderately sized baitfish imitations are the way to go.
Dry flies – Snake River Water Walkers, Plan Bs, Elk Hair Caddis, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis, Cole’s U-Con, Tilt-Wing Drakes, Parachute Extended Body Drakes, Booty’s DL Drake Emerger, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body PMDs, Booty’s DL PMD Emerger, Q’s Loop Wing Emerger, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – 20-Inchers, Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis Pupa, Olive Hares Ear Nymph, Lightening Bugs, Bubbleback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, Bruised Mays, and Robins.
Streamers – Goldilocks, SRA Bunnies, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, McCune’s Sculpins, Chicklets, and Craft Fur Clousers.